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Quotes by Charles Bukowski (Page 3 of 4)

I think that everything should be made available to everybody, and I mean LSD, cocaine, codeine, grass, opium, the works. Nothing on earth available to any man should be confiscated and made unlawful by other men in more seemingly powerful and advantageous positions.

We are here to unlearn the teachings of the church, state, and our education system.

Love came hard and very seldom. When it did it was usually for the wrong reasons.

Longer Version:

I was drawn to all the wrong things: I liked to drink, I was lazy, I didn't have a god, politics, ideas, ideals. I was settled into nothingness; a kind of non-being, and I accepted it. I didn't make for an interesting person. I didn't want to be interesting, it was too hard. What I really wanted was only a soft, hazy space to live in, and to be left alone. On the other hand, when I got drunk I screamed, went crazy, got all out of hand. One kind of behavior didn't fit the other. I didn't care.

That was the trouble with being a writer, that was the main trouble--leisure time, excessive leisure time. You had to wait around for the buildup until you could write and while you were waiting you went crazy, and while you were going crazy you drank and the more you drank the crazier you got.

Whiskey makes the heart beat faster but it sure doesn't help the mind and isn't it funny how you can ache just from the deadly drone of existence?

You can steal my women but don't play with my whiskey.

You're afraid of the audience, aren't you?
Yes, but it's not stagefright. It's that I'm there as the geek. They like to watch me eat my shit. But it pays the light bill and takes me to the racetrack. I don't have any excuses about why I do it.

I was alone with myself. And disgusting as I was it was better than being with somebody else, anybody else, all of them out there doing their pitiful little tricks and handsprings.

I just want a hot cup of coffee,black,and I don't want to hear about your troubles.

There's nothing to mourn about death any more than there is to mourn about the growing of a flower. What is terrible is not death but the lives people live or don't live up until their death.

So tired you want to quit, then you get more tired, and forget to quit.

Music is much like fucking, but some composers can't climax and others climax too often, leaving themselves and the listener jaded and spent.

Jan was an excellent fuck...she had a tight pussy and she took it like it was a knife that was killing her.

There is always one woman to save you from another and as that woman saves you she makes ready to destroy.

You boys can keep your virgins
give me hot old women in high heels
with asses that forgot to get old.

Don't wait for the good woman. She doesn't exist.

Longer Version:

Don't wait for the good woman. She doesn't exist. There are women who can make you feel more with their bodies and their souls but these are the exact women who will turn the knife into you right in front of the crowd.

in a life full of little stories
for a death to come.

Style is the answer to everything. A fresh way to approach a dull or dangerous thing. To do a dull thing with style is preferable to doing a dangerous thing without it. To do a dangerous thing with style is what I call art.

my happiest times were
i was left alone in
the house on a

Longer Version:

As a child
i suppose
i was not quite
my happiest times were
i was left alone in
the house on a

God is a lonely place without steak.

I was born to hustle roses down the avenue of the dead.

The shortest distance between two points is often unbearable.

I am not a snob; it is simply that I am not interested with what most people have to say, or what they want to do -- mostly with my time.

My ambition is handicapped by laziness.

Those who escape hell however never talk about it and nothing much bothers them after that.

If you let them kill you, they will.

You can't beat death but you can beat death in life, sometimes. And the more often you learn to do it, the more light there will be. Your life is your life. Know it while you have it.

Drink from the well of yourself and begin again.

Nothing can save you except writing. It keeps the walls from failing.

Invent yourself and then reinvent yourself.

Writers are desperate people and when they stop being desperate they stop being writers.

Without literature, life is hell.

No concept of danger,
reality, flow or
you can feel the despair
escaping from their
their lives as hopeless and
as numbed as yours.

What good are you? What can you do? It has cost me a thousands of dollars to raise you, feed you, clothe you! Suppose I left you here on the street? Then what would you do? Catch butterflies.

You fall into the mirror,
come through the other
side staring at a lightbulb.

All people start to
come apart finally
and there it is:
just empty ashtrays in a room
or wisps of hair on a comb
in the dissolving moonlight.

And the color in my eyes
has gone back into the sea.

I've been so
down in the mouth
that sometimes when I
bend over to
lace my shoes
there are

He still couldn't write or
what he wrote didn't
because that tremendous
brave optimism
that buoyed everybody up
so well
during the depression
just turned to
sugar water
good times.

Meanwhile I look at young girls
flowers of chance.
there must be a way.
surely there must be a way that we have not yet
though of.
who put this brain inside of me?
it cries
it demands
it says that there is a chance.
it will not say

We are the sickest of the breed -- as fine museums -- great art --
generations of knowledge -- are all forgotten
as we find profundity in being an

There are so many days
when living stops and pulls up and sits
and waits like a train on the rails.

Sometimes things are just what they seem to be and that's all there is to it.

There's nothing unusual about love.

Some lose all mind and become soul, insane. Some lose all soul and become mind, intellectual. Some lose both and become accepted.

and we are in bed together
and we don't care
about anything.

She's mad but she's magic. There's no lie in her fire.

I guess the only time most people think about injustice is when it happens to them.

There's no point in writing my kind of stuff, when they're printing that kind of stuff. So I gave up and started drinking.

In this room the hours of love still make shadows.

I write right off the typer. I call it my machinegun. I hit it hard, usually late at night while drinking wine and listening to classical music on the radio and smoking mangalore ganesh beedies.

I have no time for things that have no soul.

The free soul is rare, but you know it when you see it.

Longer Version:

The free soul is rare, but you know it when you see it -- basically because you feel good, very good, when you are near or with them.

Understand me. I'm not like an ordinary world. I have my madness, I live in another dimension and I do not have time for things that have no soul.

I didn't know who to
one thing I do
know: when a man is
many claim relationships
that are hardly
and after he dies, well,
then it's everybody's

One doesn't even think of
the liver
and if the liver
doesn't think of
us, that's

When you're young
a pair of
high-heeled shoes
just sitting
in the closet
can fire your
when you're old
it's just
a pair of shoes
in them
just as

And if I have any advice to give to anybody it's this: take up watercolor painting.

The centuries are sprinkled with rare magic
with divine creatures
who help us get past the common and extraordinary ills that beset us.

I found the best thing
I could do
was just to type away
at my own work
and let the dying
as they always have.

As the shadows assume
I fight the slow
my once-promise
lighting new cigarettes
pouring more
it has been a beautiful

The whole world is a sack of shit ripping open. I can´t save it.

The price of creation
is never
too high.
the price of living
with other people

She wasn't very
but few people

To create art means
to be crazy alone

Dear child, I only did to you what the sparrow
did to you; I am old when it is fashionable to be
young; I cry when it is fashionable to laugh.
I hated you when it would have taken less courage
to love.

You're the most unknown famous man I ever met.

Genius could be the ability to say a profound thing in a simple way, or even to say a simple thing in a simpler way.

Love is not a candle burning down. Life is. And love and life are not the same or else Love, having choice, nobody would ever die.

When Whitman wrote, I sing the body electric
I know what he
I know what he
to be completely alive every moment
in spite of the inevitable.
we can't cheat death but we can make it
work so hard
that when it does take
it will have known a victory just as
perfect as

I run with the hunted.

Are you anti-black?
I'm anti-everything.

My cock was hard, but my spirit wasn't in it.

It does seem
the more we drink
the better the words

There wasn't even resignation on my part, only disgust, a disgust that this had happened to me, and a disgust with the doctors who couldn't do anything about it. They were helpless and I was helpless, the only difference being that I was the victim.

People so tired
either by love or no love.

You women have more holes than swiss cheese.

All that shit they were fed about democracy and opportunity was just to keep them from burning down the palace.

First of all read Céline; the greatest writer of 2,000 years.

The first place smelled like work, so I took the second.

I knew that I was dying.
Something in me said,
Go ahead, die, sleep, become as them, accept.
Then something else in me said, no,
save the tiniest bit.
It needn't be much, just a spark.
A spark can set a whole forest on fire.
Just a spark.
Save it.

You know, doctor, wisdom comes at a hell of an hour--when youth is gone, the storm is over and the girls have gone home.

I know that some night
in some bedroom
my fingers will
soft clean
songs such as no radio
all sadness, grinning
into flow.

I always had this certain
I wouldn't call it
it was more of an inner
that settled for
whatever was occurring.

It got so bad that Al thought
maybe it was
so he went to a shrink
and asked
and the shrink said,
you're one of the sanest men
I've ever met.
poor Al.
that made him feel
than ever.

Crawled like a blind slug into the

That your power of command
with simple language was
one of the magnificent things of
our century.

I don't know. It's been terribly hard for me. How do I know you won't do it again?'
'Nobody is ever quite sure of what they will do. You aren't sure what you might do.

The gods seldom
but so quickly

Her one drink had Cecelia giggling and talking and she was explaining that animals had souls too. Nobody challenged her opinion. It was possible, we knew. What we weren't sure of was if we had any.

The best part was
pulling down the
stuffing the doorbell
with rags
putting the phone
in the
and going to bed
for 3 or 4
and the next best
nobody ever

There is only one place to write and that is alone at a typewriter. The writer who has to go into the streets is a writer who does not know the streets... when you leave your typewriter you leave your machine gun and the rats come pouring through.

Having nothing to struggle
they have nothing to struggle

I have one problem, I don't hate people. They disgust me and I want to get away from them. I do not have hatred. I have an escape mechanism.

Regret is mostly caused by not having
done anything.

I didn't have any friends at school, didn't want any. I felt better being alone. I sat on a bench and watched the others play and they looked foolish to me.

I wasn't lonely. I experienced no self-pity. I was just caught up in a life in which I could find no meaning.

I wasn't a misanthrope and I wasn't a misogynist but I liked being alone. It felt good to sit alone in a small space and smoke and drink. I had always been good company for myself.

People need me. I fill them. If they can't see me for a while they get desperate, they get sick. But if I see them too often I get sick. It's hard to feed without getting fed.

I have lost my rhythm.
I can't sleep.
I can't eat.
I have been robbed of
my filth.

I went to the worst of bars hoping to get killed but all I could do was to get drunk again.

She's mad, but she's magic. There's no lie in her fire.

Magic persists without us no matter what we may do to try to spoil it.

Meanwhile the 3 a.m. drunks of the world would lay in their beds, trying in vain to sleep, and deserving that rest, if they could find it.

I have, he went on, betrayed myself with
belief, deluded myself with love
tricked myself with sex.
the bottle is damned faithful, he said,
the bottle will not lie.

'I think I need a drink.'
'Almost everybody does only they don't know it.'

I remember awakening one morning and finding everything smeared with the color of forgotten love.

A bad trip? this whole country, this whole world is on a bad trip, friend. but they'll arrest you for swallowing a tablet.

I decided to stay in bed until noon. Maybe by then half the world would be dead and it would only be half as hard to take.

Look, let me put it this way: with me, you're number one and there isn't even a number two.

You shoulda known the entirety of the trap, a**hole,
love means eventual pain
victory means eventual defeat
grace means eventual slovenliness,
there's no way see, you

What is your advice to young writers?
Drink, fuck and smoke plenty of cigarettes.

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